Leading cardiologist tells students to take heart from failure

Thursday 1 October 2015

Cardiologist Professor Robin Choudhury (OL86) delivered a fascinating insight into the origins of modern day cardiology and the sometimes rocky road he had travelled en route to his chosen career when he delivered the Mark Bailey 2015 Lecture at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL).

In his talk entitled ‘How learning about the heart can teach us about learning’ or ‘Lessons in failure’, Professor Choudhury discussed the contribution of scientists through the centuries and enlightened the audience about his current work in the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

He explained how our understanding of the heart today owes much to the meticulous observations and records of Leonardo da Vinci, the willingness to challenge dogma shown by William Harvey, the extreme curiosity, collaboration and industry of Sir Thomas Willis and Sir Christopher Wren, and Robert Hooke’s development and application of new technologies.

In the audience as well as alumni, staff, former staff and parents were many students interested in a medical career. Professor Choudhury is now a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, but explained that despite leaving school with a clear ambition to become a cardiologist the path ahead had not always been smooth. He described how the various disappointments and rejections had always led to the opening of another door and advised students to keep trying: “You will have to show tenacity.”

The talk was the latest in GSAL’s Mark Bailey lecture series, which was established in honour of GSAL’s former head teacher who became High Master at St Paul’s School, London in 2011.

Professor Choudhury is pictured with his former teachers Terry Hammond (English literature and general studies) and Eric Medway (biology).

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